This post aims to identify the weight of unconscious influences on the lives of gay guys. I refer in particular to Italian environment.
I often talk with gay guys and many times I recognize in their attitudes, as well as in mine, the result of an unconscious environmental conditioning strongly internalized.
I start with a seemingly trivial observation. Education, from an early age, is strictly differentiated by sex and is totally oriented toward heterosexuality.
Couples who appear among the Disney characters are all heterosexual. In the school textbooks references to homosexuality are minimal if not completely omitted, at best are formal but usually the context pushes to consider homosexuality in terms of defect or disease.
Despite repeated calls by the Council of Europe to put aside any form of sex discrimination and ensure equality of homosexual unions to marriage, there are still strong resistances in these areas because these resistances, more or less instrumental, are important elements to search for consensus.
The Supreme Court considered, in many respects dutifully, that calling someone “gay” is injury to a person, this judgment confirms that homosexuality is considered a negative value.
The very invisibility of the vast majority of gay people is another obvious sign of the fact that those people feel at risk or at least marginalized by the social context.
For a straight guy who begins to feel the first growing sexual feelings and the first forms of falling in love, sexuality is a reality to talk about freely in the peer group. For a gay guy the same age his sexuality is not only an absolute taboo, in the sense that it is understood as something about which you must be very wary of talking about with others, but also in the sense that it is something that must be suppressed to try to achieve a heterosexual orientation that is seen as the only legitimate one.
The Catholic Church and also many other religious groups condemn homosexuality as “grave depravity”, “sad consequence of rejecting God”, “lack of normal sexual development”, “pathological constitution”, “intrinsically evil behavior from moral point of view”. These expressions are the sign of a dogmatic assumption on homosexuality and then the sign of a rejection of any serious debate on this subject. I emphasize that a comparison to be serious, must also include the ability to change positions.
I would add that the media, practically all, with rare exceptions, show radically false images of homosexuality that are used to do the show and gratify the majority of the public in confirming their prejudices.
There are also serious films on the subject of homosexuality, but unfortunately they are in fact seen only by homosexual people and by the heterosexual world are considered just oddities and no one takes them seriously.
In such a climate, a guy who grows up and faces his own homosexuality is left to mature in a hurry and build his own morality, since the common morality is not compatible with his homosexuality. Among gays it is easy to find guys who have a strong independence of judgment and who cannot be influenced easily, but the journey that brought these guys to build their own world of values is often twisted and very tiring.
Homosexuality is not a choice but something to accept. The verb in this sentence does not mean accepting suffering as a condemnation, nor simply endure, accept means considering homosexuality as an essential part of one’s person, which is essential in the sense that you cannot put it aside, which means that “I” if I was not “gay” I would not be me.
It happens often enough to meet guys who feel wrong, who live their homosexuality as a part of themselves to repress, to delete, guys who to preserve the affection of their parents say they are willing even to deny their sexuality, guys that being aware of the condemnation of homosexuality by their religion say they are willing to deny themselves in the name of the accession to conceptions which consider them as deniers of God just because they are gay, and therefore also without normal sexual development, pathological cases, people that can be realized in faith only radically denying their sexuality
In some cases, these guys end up opening their eyes, but frequently deep conditioning remain. It is almost unbelievable how the idea of doing something intrinsically evil and not sharable can poison sexuality with feelings of guilt and can destabilize the life of a guy.
What, in the end, leads many guys to Gay Project? The answer is simple: it is the fact that they can deal with other guys in a non-ruling, in a non-ideological climate, in a comparison not of ideas but of experiences.
It is difficult to escape from the unconscious constraints following reasoning to which we are accustomed to respond with other arguments in an infinite series.
There are not theoretical arguments that allow us to overcome the constraints and prejudices, I learned from experience, that you need to see how others live, what choices they do in practice.
To understand that a gay guy is not a green Martian but a guy like everyone else there’s only one way and it is to get in touch with gay guys, first in chat and then, why not, even in person. But to know a gay guy with which to compare seriously you cannot go looking for him in a sex chat or a dating site.
What people in general associate with the word gay has nothing to do with the reality of the vast majority of gay guys.
For a gay guy two things are essential:
1) find a way to put aside his prejudices and conditioning.
2) maintain a dimension of strong realism, which hold firmly down to earth, in other words: caution!